HUMOR: Careful, it's hot

A night out for Dad's birthday dinner goes horribly wrong

The restaurant was packed. It was Friday afternoon and we were all out to celebrate Dad’s birthday. Dad said he didn’t want to celebrate his birthday by wasting money on “this idiot establishment,” but Mom dragged us all here anyway because it was her favorite place and I’m pretty sure her birthday isn’t for another few months. I was happy because I got to skip tutoring. Jack was happy because he was still wearing his Karate uniform, which he told me was a “trick magnet.”

We all just sat there, waiting for the food we ordered 40 minutes ago. Mom asked me when my progress report for math was supposed to come in the mail. I told her they didn’t send out the progress reports in the 8th grade.

“It says in the newsletter that parents are supposed to expect progress reports.”

It’s a good thing the waiter came just as I was about to explain to her how the newsletter was only talking about Art and P.E.

“Hey guys, your food should be out in a couple of minutes,” he said as he adjusted the pen and paper pad in his rhinestone belt. “Let me know if you need anything else!”

“Finally,” I thought. I was starving and Dad must have been too because I think he called the waiter a “maggot” under his breath. Mom pretended to be excited and clapped her hands in a little-kid way that she thought kept us together.

“Remember to leave room for dessert, guys,” she said, “We’re ordering your father a birthday cake!”

“I don’t want a birthday cake,” said Dad.

Silence. Despite Mom’s best efforts to change the subject by asking me about my Science grade, the minutes were going by pretty slowly after the waiter left. Dad started to blame Mom for me being a liar. Jack started to tell me about how he grinded on three girls during recess that day.

Just then I saw our waiter on the horizon, with four plates stacked against his arm. This was it. Jack stopped talking and we all acted casual with anticipation, except Dad. Dad was rolling his eyes.

“Careful, it’s hot,” said Rhinestone as he placed Dad’s steak in front of him.

“If it’s so hot, then how are you touching it?”

Shots fired. The whole restaurant was staring at us now. Mom reached across the booth to cover Jack’s ears. Jack looked up from drawing a pair of boobs on the Kids’ Menu.

“Sir, I’m trained to —“

“Oh, I’m sorry.” Dad’s finger menacingly approached the plate. “I didn’t know the Macaroni Grill was run by wizAAAHHHH —”

The word was supposed to be “wizards” but Dad’s wit was interrupted by his own wails of pain. Mom was screaming too at this point, which I guess was out of love.

Jack and I had no idea what to do. All we really could do was look at Dad’s pulsating finger, which was now wagging at the waiter.

“This is all your fault!” Dad shrieked. I wasn’t sure which one of us he was talking to.

“Sir, I told you not to touch the plate.“

“Then how did YOU touch it?”

The long-bearded manager came out from behind the waiter. Five other waiters came to the scene of screaming to ask what happened.

“Is there a problem here, sir?”

Dad showed them his second heart. The manager gasped. All the waiters looked uneasily at each other. One of them shrugged and said something in a different language.

“My husband touched the plate,” blurted Mom, getting a cold look from Dad while she did it.

“He touched the hot plate?”


“Cheryl — c’mon,” said Dad. But it was too late. The manager and the waiters had already joined hands around our table and began to sing some sort of chant. The weird part was it was in the same language the waiter was just speaking.

Before any of us could say anything, the whole restaurant began to shake. Mom threatened to call 911 but her phone fell off the table past the ring of waiters. The chants became louder and Dad’s finger glowed, releasing a strong light. After what seemed like about 30 seconds of chaos, the chanting stopped.

The manager blinked a few times and looked at Dad’s now-healed finger.

“We’ll take the steak off your check.”

Mom and Jack’s jaw dropped. Dad had a blank look on his face. He didn’t talk much on the car ride home, except until he missed a turn and blamed us for distracting him.

Denise Taylor is a Humor columnist for The Cavalier Daily.

Published February 26, 2014 in Opinion

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